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    Advair is too expensive
    ; posted:
    I have used the Advair discus and the stuff is magical--controls my severe asthma without fail. The problem is that I can't afford it!! Are there combinations of controller drugs that would have the same effect and might not cost me $156 a month? I can't keep using my Albuterol 15 times a day and the nothing but Advair has controlled my asthma efectively. I aslo understand that there are sometimes ways to get co-pay assistance for expensive drugs. Is this one of them? HELP!
    sgbl88 responded:
    No, you deffinately don't want to keep using your rescue inhaler that much. It will lose its effectiveness. Try talking to your dr about programs for those who can't afford their meds. There are some websites which centralize the programs either or .com. I think .org. Someone will give the correct one.

    I don't think you can buy the two components separately any cheaper either.

    Another option is to go to the drug's website and look for their coupon program. It is only about $20 a month off, but that is better than nothing. I do that with all my brand name meds. Just about all of them have some kind of "loyalty" program as they call them.

    Good luck.

    love_eyeore responded:
    I did some research:

    Go here for coupons:

    same site:

    Here is the drug manufacturer site:

    Let me know if that helps, or not!

    Goodluck, jess

    Prescription Assistance Program (Not asthma specific):
    love_eyeore responded:
    Wanted to update this if people are still reading it. I enrolled in the website and i instantly got a 10$ off the co-pay coupon to print. Then in my e-mail today they let me know they would be sending me another e-mail with another coupon. Looks like it may have been worthwhile to enroll!
    sgbl88 responded:
    The programs are definately worth enrolling in. I haven't been spammed by any of them, and the savings is significant.

    I was getting our Astelin free with our co-pay and the rebate they offerred (another reason I don't like the Astepro ). Astepro does have a coupon card the requires you to pay the first $15 of you co-pay and then they pick up the rest up to $100 I think it is.

    I refilled my ProAir yesterday, and it was free too ($20 off). The ProAir coupon card is kind of tricky though. I am just figuring it out, I think. You enroll and get a card that is good for that offer, but then they come out with another offer and you have to re-activate your old card for the new offer. They won't let you have a new card or numbers to use the new offer. So keep your ProAir card if you get one.

    Don't forget Nasonex and all your brand name meds. Nasonex offers a $15 a month coupon. I say that, and I haven't checked Xopenex ampules. I guess I will do that in a minute or two. Nexium has a good one too if you are on it. You find it at Just search the drug name. Sometimes you can find coupon/discount programs by going to the manufacturer's web site.

    Good luck and happy savings.

    Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi there,

    Dr Enright has recommended the website before and our moderator Louise has put together resources for people who need assistance with medical costs including drugs. The post is sticky on the Welcome Center board No Insurance or Money.

    I hope that you will find these resources helpful!

    - Annie
    etarip4 responded:
    PREDNISONE in low doses (1 or 4 mg) is an effective cartiosteroid tablet. I use it for 1 week at 20mg for severe asthma, but it has bad Long-Term side effects in that dose. The 20mg size costs me $.06 a tablet. That's $1.80 for 30 tablets vs about $46 CO-PAY for a 30 day supply of Advair at 2 puffs a day, through my insurance company. I am about to start using 30 5mg tablets of Prednisone daily each month for $1.80 total. The drug companies are GREEDY. They don't push a low cost drug like Prednisone because they feel there is not enough PROFIT in drugs that are priced FAIRLY! The price of Advair CO-PAY for me TRIPLED from $15 to $46 per inhaler in ONE STEP in June of 2011. The actual retail price of the inhaler jumped to about $156 for each inhaler. They spend HUGE amounts on advertising to push all competitors below the radar of most asthma sufferers as well as many doctors.
    Advair's patent expired in 2010, so the company is taking WINDFALL PROFITS now, in anticipation of a generic version hitting the market. The company already markets it under another name outside the US for a fraction of the price. Other companies have delayed marketing a generic version because the powder pellets need a custom applicator. Yet the company also markets a liquid spray inhaler version outside the US, also for less money.
    The actual cost of a generic Albuteral inhaler (identical to Proventil HFA) is about 35 CENTS in Cuba, as seen in the Michael Moore film "SICKO".
    The Cubans don't charge their people that much, however, since all drugs are distributed for FREE under their Socialist system of Universal Health Care. Want that system under Capitalism? The Canadians have it for many years now & pay only a nominal Co-Pay for Medications, Doctor visits & Hospitalization. I know this post will bring out all the mindlessideologues who still believe it's "Better to be Dead than Red". Well, when it comes to the HEALTH of human beings, anything is better than being DEAD!
    Will ObamaCare be better? It doesn't kick in untill 2014, so it may be killed off before anybody knows how good it might be in the REAL WORLD.
    One thing is certain however. It will be POWERLESS to stop the GREED & POWER of the Drug Companies! Only a Government-managed SINGLE-PAYER system like Canada, England, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland & many other countries around the world has a chance of doing that! Until then asthmatics like me will have to plot & scheme on how to avoid the very expensive "BREATHING TAX" that the Drug Companies have levied on ALL OF US!
    amcate replied to etarip4's response:
    I can understand your fustration with the health care system. As it is, there are gaps if a person is under 65, earns too much for Medicaid, gets sick so doesn't have the time to work, and no one else can cover them on the health insurance.

    As a general update and general information, Glaxo Smith Kline is the manufacturer of Advair, so if folks have not tried their website it's also worth a shot.

    I have seen the same thing about Advair's patent expiring, but with different dates ranging a few years apart. In essence, it expired or in some areas is very close to expiring (I was confused as to why so many dates were listed). You are right, and the other companies are having trouble making the generic. Some of them have hired folks from GSK to help. I don't recall the website where I read this, I can't give a reference. In any case, hopefully the generic form will be out soon. I take Advair as well.
    An_249350 replied to etarip4's response:
    I agree entirely with your account of the inadequacies of the US health system, especially the amount per capita that we pay for it and yet still have worse results than countries with universal health care. eatarip4's response doesn't take into account that Title 19/Medicaid doesn't require coverage for impoverished childless people, only those who have children, regardless of the childless adult's lack of income. So they're out of luck until maybe they're too sick to work and can be deemed disabled by Social Security to start receiving Medicare, but that process can take years.

    Regarding the Prednisone though, I was under the impression that ANY long term use of systemic steroid treatment was bad, resulting in suppressed immunity. I say systemic as opposed to pseudo-topical or targeted steroid treatment like an inhaler.
    amcate replied to An_249350's response:
    You describe my situation pretty well and I don't have kids. I don't qualify for Medicaid, but thankfully my state has a stop gap product. The only thing is I can't earn too much or else I get kicked off of that. There is only a limited number of spots and a huge waiting list since the economy tanked. So, I'm hoping Obamacare will work better since even if I don't qualify for premium help one year, I could still qualify during the next and not have to worry about being able to get back on the program if I have a bad asthma control year and can't get many hours. In my state, qualifying for disability is very hard. I mentioned it on another thread, but in essence due to the fact my personal best is not the same as the predicted value, no matter how bad I get I won't qualify for any disability income.

    I recently went to my allergist PA, and she informed me that Combivent is no longer being made, but there is a new product that even she doesn't know yet how to use. I guess it nebulizes it and then delivers the medicine. Combivent has been out for years, though I don't know what the price I would have to pay if I was self pay. The replacement is fancy, and she said costs a lot, though she didn't say how much. I said, "why does it have to be so fancy? Do they not know that having moderate to severe persistent asthma makes it hard to afford things, and I don't think the insurance I have would cover something fancy like that. What are they trying to do, to repackage the same old drug in a new way so they can claim a new patent and not compete with generics? Is regular albuterol around, and then regular ipratropium bromide? Maybe I could take them as separate inhalers, because it's basically what Combivent is." She said, "no, generic albuterol is no longer around. You can only get albuterol through a brand name. Combivent was the last one required to be CFC free." I said, "Brand name only? The drug has been around for years. When I first got asthma, it cost $10 generic. It reminds me of Advair, which has gone generic but GSK made a statement that they are very happy because other companies can not replicate the delivery, so they know they will be making profits for a long time. Do they take the same old drug and repackage it just to get a brand new patent and keep the price high? I realize that there has been an issue with CFCs and many of the drugs had to get new delivery systems that don't produce CFCs, so I know this is part of all that. What I don't understand is why would they choose an expensive and fancy delivery system for a group that is financially strapped?" She said, "the cheapest way to do it is to get one of the brand name albuterol inhalers...and they all cost about the same and then a separate generic ipratropium bromide inhaller. Take the brand name albuterol, and if it fails, then add in the ipratropium bromide. Or, just take the two together. I agree with you, I wish they would just keep it simple." She was kind enough to understand the financial situation a person like me is in, especially with misisng work some of the time, and wrote out two separate scripts. She took about 45 minutes with me, which was very nice of her and so unusual now and days.
    amcate replied to An_249350's response:
    I like to use humor to deal with things. I found a video that makes fun of the pharmaceutical industry in the USA. It's on youtube if you search for "big pharma parody", and it is a parody of a Notorious B.I.G. song. It is not appropriate for kids, and some adults may not like it due to some references, but I think it's funny....for whoever might enjoy it.
    medjourno replied to etarip4's response:
    I'm a journalist writing about the high and rising price of asthma medications. If you want to tell me about your experience, please contact me at Thanks
    bobandabby responded:
    I get generic Advair from Canada online. It is perfectly legal. Retail for a month's supply of Fluticasone/Salmeterol is $30. Because of my ridiculously high deductable, I have to pay retail for Advair in the US and that is about $360 a month. I do everything that I can to avoid getting ripped off with the US healthcare mafia. I buy my albuterol inhalers in Mexico (called Salbutamol down there). They cost about $7 and no prescription is needed. They work just as well.
    bobandabby replied to medjourno's response:
    I developed asthma at age 60. After trying a couple of drugs with poor results, I ended up on Advair. It worked great, but the cost is shocking. I have to pay retail because of the extremely high-priced deductable on our Blue Cross plan. Advair is about $360 a month in the US. Because of the various scams and protection of big pharma in the US, such as the notorious, "pay to delay," there is no generic in the US. I get generic Advair (fluticasone/salmeterol) online from Canada for $30 a month. It is every bit as effective. I buy my albuterol inhalers in Mexico, OTC for 1/20 the cost of albuterol here.
    Since our family has "pre-existing conditions (son with Type 1 diabetes) we pay about $35,000 a year, every year just for health maintenance. That includes health ins. premiums, deductables and out of pocket expenses. Eli Lily insulin is 1/3 the cost in Canada as in the US but that doesn't work for us since it is perishable and cross border shipping can be slow.

    I could go on and on about the inequities and ripoffs, endemic in the American health care system. Big Corp. profits are the number one priority while elected officials get health care plans that the rest of us cannot. Obamacare may help some of us but the fundamental structure of our system will still favor big Health care corportations.
    chucar replied to medjourno's response:
    My pulmonologist has me on several high price drugs for Asthma and COPD. Advair, Qvar, ProAir and Nasonex. I asked him if there were less expensive generics. He said no. It's the middle of June and I'm in the doughnut hole already. I have money but I have to budget it because I have no idea how long I am going to live. Any help would be appreciated.

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